Mayor Daley Denies Chicago World Cup Opportunity

The home city of the United States Soccer Federation, the nation’s third largest city, the city that recently bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, the city that played host to the opening game in the 1994 World Cup, a city with a storied soccer history and a richly diverse soccer culture, my sweet home Chicago, is not on the list of cities for the United States’ 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid, the Federation announced today.

Pitch Invasion has learned from multiple sources that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who led the failed Olympic Games bid and provided only limited support to attempts by the Chicago Fire to build a soccer stadium within city limits (their current home, Toyota Park, lies a couple of blocks outside city limits in the Village of Bridgeview), has done soccer in this city another disservice by putting very little behind the city’s proposal to host World Cup games. The city’s proposal, I’m told, was extremely weak.

There can be little doubt that the US Soccer Federation would have wanted Chicago to be part of the bid, as almost everyone expected to be a matter of course. And Daley was on the Chicago Host Committee for the 1994 World Cup, a successful event for the city used in Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid effort. Perhaps Daley is still too bitter about that dismally failed bid to have gotten behind the United States’ bid for the other major global sporting event, the World Cup. We contacted the Mayor’s Office for comment, but have not received a reply at the time of writing.

This is, though, a big blow to the World Cup bid as well as to the city’s soccer community, especially as the City of Chicago owns an elite stadium that has hosted numerous international games. The 62,000 capacity Soldier Field, reopened in 2003 after major renovation, is a wonderful venue for soccer, hosting the CONCACAF Gold Cup in recent years, including the final in 2007. That was a game I attended, and on a beautiful summer day by Chicago’s wonderful lakefront, Chicago’s massive soccer community — especially from the one million strong Hispanic community — turned out to fill the stadium with energy and passion. Sadly, we will not see this here in Chicago in 2018 or 2022 if the U.S. wins the right to host the World Cup.

Soldier Field, Chicago
Donovan scores
Soldier Field, Chicago

It’s a shame for Chicago that the city did not put enough effort behind the support of a sport that means so much to so many here.

69 thoughts on “Mayor Daley Denies Chicago World Cup Opportunity

  1. Brad

    I just got an email from the USA Bid committee, saw Chicago wasn’t on the list, and then made my way to Pitch Invasion as fast as I could…..
    Tom, did you have any sense that this was going to happen?

  2. KT

    Wait…you mean it wasn’t US Soccer’s fault?

    How can that be?

    Soccer fans want to blame US Soccer for everything! How could it possibly be someone else who didn’t put enough effort into it?

  3. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Brad — did not see it coming before today. Chicago would have been a shoe-in if the City had done just basic diligence on the proposal, I believe. Can’t think it was easy or desirable for US Soccer to cut the city it is based in and where so many international games have been successfully held.

  4. patrick

    I don’t buy this BS, this isn’t the olympics where you have to build massive new infrastructure or handle millions of visitors for weeks, this is putting on a show at an existing world class venue built with soccer in mind, that has done it numerous times before, including a previous WC opening ceremonies. all the city should have to do is hand in a map of the city with soldier field circled, that, in of itself, is more diligence then the majority of venues listed.

  5. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Patrick, I don’t think FIFA would be very impressed if that’s what the USSF then handed them. Remember that’s a key part of this process: the information on each city goes to FIFA eventually.

  6. Pingback: Atlanta included in U.S. World Cup bid | Atlanta Soccer News

  7. Luke

    I don’t see how you can blame the Mayor, if the US bid committee is stupid enough to think leaving out Chicago is a good idea then I hope they lose. We have a stadium and we have the necessary hotels, what could Mayor Daley have possibly done to “push” Chicago? Someone wanted to keep Chicago out, and they did.

  8. patrick

    Tom, you’re right, but that’s THE USSF’s JOB, not the cities, the cities bid to the USSF for inclusion in THEIR bid. My point, is that if all the city handed them was a map and the wikipedia entry on the city and soldier field, they would immediately rank higher on Public Transit, International Travel and Accommodation, Population Base & Diversity, Stadium quality than the majority of the cities actually included. If the USSF doesn’t want to do their job and translate that to FIFA, well, its not the first incredibly dumb thing US Soccer has done.

  9. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Well, it seems to me it was a competitive process with USSF reviewing each proposal: there are plenty of cities that meet FIFA’s requirements in the US. Each city is responsible for ensuring they submit a proposal that meets USSF’s standards for the bid, and the USSF had to choose between them based on the information they received, which they’d then use as the basis for their bid to FIFA. USSF can’t be expected to do all that work for the dozens of cities that initially expressed interest, surely. Same process has been undertaken in England, incidentally.

  10. Luke

    Tom, when it comes to Nashville and Indianapolis then maybe the USSF has to choose based on the information they received, but Chicago should have been on that list no matter what. This is the USA bid. You know what FIFA is going to do when they go to Nashville and Indy? They are going to laugh and ask themselves what assholes decided to choose these backwaters over Chicago, and deny the bid. The USSF’s job is to make the best bid to FIFA, not to choose the best presentation, they should be dealing with reality and not powerpoint.

  11. Tom Dunmore Post author

    I’m confused, Luke….Would this really not have occurred to the USSF? I still don’t see the motivation for why they would not want Chicago in there. Obviously the USSF knows the bid is hurt by their non-inclusion. Who is the “someone” that wants to keep Chicago out?

  12. patrick

    Tom, again, I agree, but what has yet to be made clear is what standards the cities bid to the USSF failed to meet. As I’ve stated, the majority of standards for staging a world cup game can be met (exceeded when compared with other US cities) with even the most cursory application. What didn’t the city do that caused them to be behind the likes of KC? How can a bid be considered weak when the venue inherently ranks higher on the standards than cities that were included? It didn’t lose out to KC on visitor travel and accommodations or venue or stadium access. Were these not included in USSF’s qualification process, or did the city use Arial font instead of Times New Roman?

  13. Luke

    Tom, I don’t know what the motivation to keep Chicago out was but one had to exist. Maybe they felt snubbed by Daley and wanted to teach the city a lesson, whatever reason it was it was clearly stupid or malicious. Anyone not sniffing glue at the USSF should have known that NY and Chicago are 2 cities that get in even if they submit entries on toilet paper, if they actually wanted to win the bid that is.

  14. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Patrick, those are definitely good questions. I can’t say I know the answers to them, but I’ll find out what I can on the details of the process and to see if I can get more on what went wrong with Chicago’s proposal.

  15. Not Arroyave

    Complete garbage Chicago wasn’t on the list. Isn’t there any intelligent reporters that can come up with the real reason Chicago didn’t make the list? That in and of itself is a newsworthy story. Hopefully some news outlet will do some research to sell more publications and let the world know.

    After what I’ve seen from the USSF over the last 15 years, yes, based in Chicago USSF, I wouldn’t doubt they made mistakes that led to this. I am definitely not buying as many tickets, merchandise and support in the product they are putting forward. Leaving Chicago out adds fuel to the fire to support “roots” abroad by buying Italia or Germany jerseys……

  16. Tom Dunmore Post author

    Here’s a hypothesis: say Soldier Field does not meet certain particular FIFA requirements (or requirements the USSF were setting for cities themselves for their bid) that needed a certain commitment from the city to correct. Say the City did not seem interested in making those assurances in the proposal; perhaps it wasn’t a priority for the Park District in the past year, especially given the Olympic debacle.

    That seems to me more likely reason for their non-inclusion than malice or stupidity by the USSF.

  17. snakes

    Listen kids, sorry this one isn’t as complicated as you want it to be… but the person who didn’t want Chicago to be part of the World Cup Bid was the Mayor himself.

    Before you waste all of your ire, make sure you’re pointing it in the right direction.

  18. Luke

    You might be right Tom, but from what I remember they went through the list of stadiums that qualified to host games last year and Chicago was on that list. I doubt we would have been in the final 27 if our stadium did not meet some criteria. My guess is USSF will rationalize its ridiculous decision by claiming SF is to small or something inane like that.

  19. Luke

    “With Chicago, I think there was some Olympic fatigue,” Gulati said, referring to that city’s unsuccessful bid to host the Summer Games in 2016. “And in this group, Soldier Field was one of the smallest stadiums.”

    Reminded that President Obama, who sent a letter of support to FIFA on behalf of the American bid, is from Chicago, Gulati said: “He said he was at the games when it was here in ‘94. He’s a big supporter and obviously knows a bit about the sport. But we haven’t talked to him recently about these cities. I think he’s got a few other things on his mind.”

  20. mike

    Why should mayor Daley give a shit about a sport whose team built a stadium outside Chicago? They should be called the bridgeview fire! Let the mayor of bridgeview get the world cup in his shitty suburb!!

  21. Team Speed

    This is really disappointing. Embarrassing for both USSF and the city of Chicago.

    The lack of a Bay Area city is also ridiculous. It is like they don’t actually want the Cup here.

  22. joejoejoe

    I’m sure World Cup fans will love the zero international flights to Nashville and Indianapolis.

    I’ll blame the USSF and put it all down to greed. Soldier Field is a larger than a majority of stadiums used in Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, and Brazil 2014. At 61,500 Soldier Field would be the 4th largest soccer venue in Italy, 3rd largest in England, and 2nd largest in France. World Cup bid requirements only require 12 venues and USSF gave 18 and still couldn’t find room for Chicago? It’s all about presale of tickets in giant caverns for a spectacle and nothing at all about holding a soccer tournament for the world.

    Atlanta — Georgia Dome (70,868)
    Baltimore – M&T Bank Stadium (71,008)
    Boston – Gillette Stadium (73,393)
    Dallas – Cowboys Stadium (91,600) and the Cotton Bowl (89,000)
    Denver – Invesco Field (75,165)
    Houston – Reliant Stadium (76,000)
    Indianapolis – Lucas Oil Stadium (66,500)
    Kansas City — Arrowhead Stadium (75,364)
    Los Angeles — Rose Bowl (89,109) and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (93,607)
    Miami – Dolphin Stadium (80,240)
    Nashville – LP Field (75,000)
    New Jersey/New York — New Meadowlands Stadium (84,046)
    Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field (69,111)
    Phoenix – University of Phoenix Stadium (71,362)
    San Diego — Qualcomm Stadium (67,700)
    Seattle – Qwest Field (68,056) and Husky Stadium (72,500)
    Tampa – Raymond James Stadium (75,000)
    Washington – FedEx Field (86,690)

    NYT, Gulati: ““And in this group, Soldier Field was one of the smallest stadiums.”

    Chicago – Soldier Field – (61,500)

    Again, Chicago would have been one of the larger venues in all recent World Cups and in the upcoming ’10 and ’14 World Cups. “This group” is a group of USSF’s own choosing, not a group of soccer stadiums in recent World Cups.

    FIFA requires 40,000 seats for group games in the World Cup and Soldier Field was good enough for a WC qualifier in 2009.

    I think USSF just wanted a few extra bucks, could care less about fans, and it’s got nothing to do with Mayor Daley.

  23. WonsanUnited


    Unless Oakland County Stadium gets a facelift once the A’s leave, or the 49ers can get a new stadium, then there will definitely not be any WC games held in the Bay Area.

  24. Matthew N

    In the words of Tom Hicks Jr., the USSF can “blow me.” First of all, the Midwest gets completely neglected. New England gets three cities within a couple hours train ride of each other. Washington DC and Baltimore… are you kidding me??? Two cities in Florida, two in Texas, two in California… must be nice to live to live in one of those areas. In the midwest, we get the wonderful city of Indianapolis. In case you didn’t detect my sarcasm, the city is an absolute dump. I live within a few hours of the place, and I don’t even go there. I’ve been to Columbus, Cincy, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, all many, many times, but Indianapolis is probably the ugliest big city I’ve ever been to and I do not frequent it. I’ve flown domestically probably 30-40 times in the last ten years and never EVER had a flight to/from/connecting Indianapolis. Their airport sucks. Chicago, as much as I hate the people there and their soccer team, is a great American city. Any American can enjoy a weekend there. Any international visitor can enjoy a weekend in the city because of its rich history. Chicago is a great American city. So people from Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio (all in the top 10 most populous states) get the long drive to some crappy city in the middle of a state that couldn’t give a shit about soccer (hell, they don’t even care about their college basketball, football or pro teams other than the colts). This is fucking ridiculous. I shouldn’t expect anything different though, the Midwest never gets any respect from anyone else either.

    (Note: In a couple years when I get out of grad school and I am living in one of the glamorous cities of the country, I will probably forget about the Midwest too.)

    I’m really angry about this, just because it will be much easier for me to just go to another country and watch the world cup (which would be more fun) than go to it in my own country…

  25. jjayg23

    I think it’s a combination of failure from the Mayor (the city) and the USSF. Even with a weak bid and a not-so-receptive mayor the USSF should have done whatever extra it would take to be sure that Chicago met whatever necessary criteria. I think the Mayor and the park district definitely failed miserably but USSF should shoulder some of the blame. There is still a minimum of 8 years until we could possibly have the cup here, certainly Chicago would be ready by then!
    Shame on everyone!!

  26. Steffeck

    Chicago left out is nuts! OK, based on stadium capacity, Soldier Field is towards the bottom. But, this is an international competition! With a central airport and a downtown stadium, Chicago fits what foreign soccer fans want. And, US Soccer has just left out the 3rd largest city–with a MLS team– from filling its stadium.

  27. Micah


    Since you have not looked at a map in recent years I would like to point out the Kansas City and Indy are Midwest cities.

    It’s a shock that Chicago will not (at this juncture in time) host a World Cup match but calling the Midwest “completely neglected” is overdramatic.

    Perhaps Daley didn’t care this time around. Perhaps it’s all about the cash (not a shock since FIFA picks the host). The heart and sould of any USA bid will be the mad cash to be made by FIFA and anyone involved. More seats mean more $$$.

  28. Devin

    One thing I think this really does to damage the US hopes at hosting the World Cup is I think it may deter Obama’s support for hosting the competition. Obama has been in support of hosting the World Cup or Olympics throughout this whole process. By eliminating his “home court” we run the possibility of losing his support in the bidding process.

    Also, I don’t care if Daley completely shit on the process, the USSF is completely to blame for this. Overlooking one of the largest markets in the nation in your bid to host the biggest tournament in the world is just downright foolish. It would be the equivalent of England hosting without Manchester as one of the host cities. There are several cities that have made the cut that further prove this point. Kansas City, Tampa, Atlanta? If you’d like, we can blame Daley for Chicago missing out on it’s chance to host the World Cup. I have the feeling though when all is said and done Sunil and his merry men will be at fault for the United States missing out on our chance to host the tournament at all.

  29. Matthew N

    Micah, thanks for pointing that out. I originally intended to talk about KC after I talked about Indy, but I forgot to do so by the time I actually got done writing! Either way, KC doesn’t seem like a city I’d like to visit either (plus it is way too far from me). Eh, I can’t really put up a fight except that there are great cities that aren’t mentioned. I’ve also not aware if KC is a major transportation hub, but I can say that I have never flown through there. I also can’t thing of one thing (though I’m sure there are a few) that I’d like to visit while in KC. The only thing I think of when I think of KC is how much the Royals suck and how much the Wiz suck.

  30. Devin

    Micah, I think the notion that Indianapolis or Kansas City would make the final cut is insane. The only city in the midwest that would really warrant hosting the World Cup is Chicago.(I say this and I’m from near Indianapolis.) I’m shocked the city was chosen to host the super bowl. The biggest sporting event in the world is just out of the question.

  31. Sean

    I’m a native Hoosier, and still I’m ASTONISHED that Indianapolis is listed as a host city and Chicago is not. I mean, from every standpoint (save, possibly, convention space), Chicago is a preferable host. Ridiculous.

    It’s hard to take Authority seriously when its decisions come across as inscrutably (and possibly maliciously) stupid.

  32. nate

    I also don’t buy this argument. Not saying it isn’t true – who knows – but it’s a stupid reason to exclude Chicago. In fact, there’s no good reason to exclude Chicago. Here’s a hypothetical question: let’s say NYC & Bloomberg wake up late yesterday, and their bid to the committee is just a piece of paper with the words “NEW YORK” on it. Would the committee have enough guts, and stupidity, to exclude NYC? Of course not. NYC, LA & Chicago are part of the bid or the bid is a joke.

  33. Bobby


    Daley is the one the didn’t give a shit about the Fire or soccer in general and let them go to the suburbs just like he is letting the World Cup go and the potential millions of dollars that comes with it. The Fire wanted to stay within the city limits but they didn’t get enough support from the city so they were forced to choose a place that would welcome them.

  34. A. Ruiz

    Nate, well that’s sorta exactly what happened. They’re playing in New Jersey. Which is awesome, cause Jersey has done more for the game than NYC ever will.

    Won’t people have to connect to Ohare to fly to Indy? Epic fail Daley.

  35. joejoejoe

    Was the City of Chicago supposed to give a stadium handout to the Fire? I know it’s common practice in most US cities but it doesn’t make it right. The City spent money remodeling Soldier Field instead and it’s gotten a fair number of quality international matches for it’s investment. “Soccer only stadium” is code for only MLS owners control the concessions, it has nothing to do with being fan friendly. Instead of pointing fingers at City government somebody should ask Phil Anschutz if he has some kind of a grudge against Chicago. He owned the Fire when they moved to Bridgeview and he’s on the US Bid committee now.

  36. Bayern82

    Sorry, but this posting is silly. Typical Chicago homerism.

    There are plenty of American cities with bigger Hispanic populations (NYC, Miami, LA, Dallas, Houston, SF Bay Area, Phoenix), and Soldier Field was, by far, the smallest candidate venue.

    The fact is that Chicago doesn’t have an appropriate venue. Soldier Field is just too small, and that’s that.

    The fact that Chicago is (barely) among the top 10 Latino cities doesn’t really matter. The fact that Chicago has held international soccer events (along with the rarefied likes of cities like Columbus, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio) isn’t that big of a deal.

  37. A. Ruiz

    It’s not about the hispanic population. Not at all.
    None of those cities except NY and LA obvs, come close to Chicago in total amenities (Well maybe the Bay area, but I think they got overlooked as well, another failure of the bid).
    61k isn’t really too small, in the grand scheme of things. It’s bigger than most stadiums in Germany, Spain, France and England. Unless you think the Emirates is too small to host a WC game. *rollseyes*
    But really, Chicago is a total package when it comes to culture, amenities, stuff to do.

    I’m trying really hard not to criticize Indy……I’m sure it’s full of great people, but it’s hard to think of something I’d stick around to do there, instead of driving back to Chicago and do the exact same thing except with more choices.

  38. joejoejoe

    Bayern82 – There are over 100 nations with consulates in Chicago. How many are in Columbus, OH? Salt Lake City, UT? Soldier Field is 92% as large as the Indianapolis venue. If the international airport and transit infrastructure don’t put Chicago ahead for a global event it’s not really worth discussing the matter comprehensively.

    The USSF bid was just a list of the largest venues, full stop.It’s obvious it’s all about ticket sales, event planning be damned.

  39. Steve in Chicago

    The USSF is responsible for trying to win the World Cup. So the following is inherently true:

    A) They want Chicago as a host
    B) They certainly want Chicago ahead of Indianapolis
    C) There is only a 5,000 seat difference between those two stadia

    So there is clearly something to this story. And anyone who knows anything about our mayor knows he is a raging egomaniac who listens to no one and does what he wants becasue he essentially has a mandate as mayor for life.

    Now consider the International Sporting Community put his ego (among other things) on a tee and wacking it from Copenhagen straight back to his principality witht he wole world watching. Consider he’s always hosed soccer (not that this is unique).

    So even though we’ll never know the whole story behind this I have no doubt that his honor stuck his middle finger up at the World Cup Bid Process and its very likely that USSF begged him to put it down and he refused.

    Thanks a lot mayor for not being able to put your ego aside. Its not like the city couldn’t use the revenue from the World Cup to offside Daley’s Folly er the Olympic bid. Your just a big fish in a little pond get over yourself.

  40. TheKidd

    Aside from the fact that the geography of the US does not lend itself to having a great WC (too much travel required for fans), who made up this list of host cities? No Chicago? Really? So what that Soldier Field only has a capacity of 61,500. That is plenty big enough and has already been pointed out by others, Chicago offers world class hotels, restaurants and entertainment, not to mention O’Hare, which I believe has the second or third most inernational traffic in the country.

    Seriously, who can get excited about going to Indy, KC, Nashville, Tampa, or Houston (and what team is really going to want to play in Houston in the summer?). If I were picking the cities for the US, my list would only include:

    For Sure:
    Washington D.C

    Dallas or Austin
    Bay Area

  41. patrick


    while hispanic population is only one metric of international diversity, for the record, according to census estimates, only LA & NYC have larger hispanic populations than chicago (houston is a close 4th).

  42. WonsanUnited

    Well remember back in 2002 that Tokyo didn’t host a single WC match, and it went well, and it’s not like the Korea-Japan bid got shat on because there was no Tokyo.

  43. ironduke2010

    hey, when we talk about a city submitting a bid to be part of a wc bid, i’d imagine we are talking about things like infrastructure support, street closures, security, and a myriad of things the average joe wouldn’t think about. if chicago, for whatever reason, basically said “yeah, we’ll be part of your bid, and we might even give you the same municipal support we give bears games on gameday, but don’t expect us to let you do anything in grant park, and we don’t want any of those huge tv screens, and we’re not paying any cops overtime for anything related to your soccer thing, dont’ even think about extra trains…” etc. etc., while other cities are saying “we’ll do whatever you want whenever you want, and we’ll pay for it.” who do you think ussf would favor? until someone comments officially, (and even after) we’ll be left to speculate.

    it’ll be the same for our overall bid. our usa bid will have to be more attractive than the bids of the other countries, no matter how important we think we are.

  44. Anthony

    One of the requirements in the final round was that the stadiums had to guarantee schedule availability. If the city didn’t do that, all the other stuff about great infrastructure and hotels would be moot. I don’t know anything about the real reason, but I think it would have to be massive for the USSF to leave out Chicago.

  45. noel

    There still another cut to be made so comparing chicago to any city still in the hunt is pointless. One thing is certain, the guys in charge in the other cities are wagging their tails to get the world cup and the guys running CROOK county are not! The only reason Chicago made in effort in 94 is because the Olimpics has always been Daley lagacy exit. If you really want measure the tail wagging going on, google this topic and count chicago articles compared to nashville or the other cities still in the hunt.

  46. Sgc

    I also don’t buy this argument. Not saying it isn’t true – who knows – but it’s a stupid reason to exclude Chicago. In fact, there’s no good reason to exclude Chicago. Here’s a hypothetical question: let’s say NYC & Bloomberg wake up late yesterday, and their bid to the committee is just a piece of paper with the words “NEW YORK” on it. Would the committee have enough guts, and stupidity, to exclude NYC? Of course not. NYC, LA & Chicago are part of the bid or the bid is a joke.

    Guys like you and joejoejoe are certainly not good salesman. If Nashville cares about hosting the games, and Chicago doesn’t, then Nashville is a better venue than Chicago is. I was pretty stunned Chicago was omitted too, but reading some of you guys’ comments I understand a bit better–just imagine Mayor Daley’s attitude was like your own, and that’s how you could lose.

    And your point about NYC seems obviously wrong, since Bloomberg felt the necessity to join the USA Bid Board and film a personal endorsement of the USA Bid to FIFA.

  47. Dunl

    Last summer, when Chicago was in the running to host the 2016 Olympics and Soldier Field hosted a World Cup qualifier in June and the Gold Cup semifinals in July, it did strike me as a bit odd that the mayor was nowhere to be seen. At the time, I was thinking Mayor Daley wants the Olympics in Chicago, the city’s hosting premiere events in a major Olympic sport and — in the context of the Olympic bid — Mayor Daley’s failing to even try and capitalize on that? At the time I was thinking it was just a missed opportunity to give a bit of a boost Chicago 2016. Maybe he really just doesn’t like soccer? On the other had, Mayor Daley had associated himself so closely with the Olympic bid that when it failed, it was a personal and political failure for him. Maybe he’s just decided he doesn’t want to risk being in that situation a second time.

  48. Pingback: Chicago Snubed for World Cup Venue Site – 18 Cities Announced | Inside Minnesota Soccer

  49. Mike

    This is cruel joke being played on Chicago. I’m from New England, but my business takes me there a couple of times a year and it’s without a doubt the best city in this country (aside from maybe San Francisco). With the diversity of ethnic neighborhoods and people making up the core of that city, it’s cruel to exclude them from the World Cup. Remember, by the time 2018 tournament comes to the U.S., it will have been 24 years since the last time it was here. That’s a generation, a lifetime.

  50. WB05 Flanagan

    DAMN…for those of us too poor to travel regularly to tournaments, etc, this is a massive disappointment.

    I’ll probably be dead before 2018, anyway, so it won’t matter.

  51. CHicago-is-bettter-then-INDY!

    Hope the United States loses the bids and trys for it again in 2026 with chicago in the Bid and that it happens that be awesome lol

  52. snakes

    Thanks for the link, Horacio…. be hard pressed to continue blaming USSF for this one, but I’m sure some of the fanatics will find a deranged argument to do so.

  53. joejoejoe

    Tom was right, I was wrong. I speculated and was off the mark. Not sure why Sunil Gulati would bring up the stadium size when asked why Chicago was left out but you can see in the CNC story that Chicago withdrew.

  54. Richard

    I got this response when I e-mailed the website regarding Chicago’s exclusion:

    Dear Richard,

    First of all thank you for your email and your support of the USA Bid.

    I would like to explain some of the reasons why we were unable to include Chicago as part of the final 18 cities.

    Under normal circumstances, Chicago would have been part of our national bid, given its soccer tradition, diversity, location and reputation as a world-class city.

    Since we announced in February of last year our intention to bid for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022, we knew we would be approaching Chicago at a challenging and potentially problematic time in relation to our own World Cup bid, whether the 2016 Olympics bid was successful or not.

    FIFA’s bidding process clearly establishes that any city and stadium that is proposed by any bidding nation has to be accompanied by corresponding signed agreements.

    At this time, the Chicago Park District was unable to meet these FIFA contractual requirements. Without these mandatory signed documents, it was impossible for the USA Bid Committee to even consider Chicago to be part of the final 18. So it was with some disappointment, but also much compassion, that we mutually agreed to move forward in our bid without Chicago.

    Here is a link to an article that appeared in the New York Times this past Friday and that talks about this situation:

    Once upon a time, the notion of a U.S. bid without Chicago might have been unthinkable. Today we have a surplus of world class cities worthy of being hosts, with a collection of venues that have no match anywhere in the world. As a nation, we still need every soccer fan’s support to win this bid and bring the largest sporting event in the world to our country.

    Hope this email helps explain why the USA Bid Committee was unable to consider Chicago in the final list.

    Thanks again for your support,

    Jurgen Mainka
    Director of Communications
    USA Bid Committee

  55. Scott

    Overall, Chicago got screwed out of this by their own leadership. Typical.

    Houston in the summer is horrid (actually, it’s horrid anytime, but it’s worse in the summer), unless you’re playing football in an enclosed, air-conditioned stadium like Reliant Field. Then, it’s not so bad. Same for Dallas (actually, Arlington).

  56. Sebastien Labat

    Hey guys,
    Let’s get over it by supporting the First nationwide amateur soccer world cup ever organized in the United States with Finals in Soldier Field on Sunday July 11th, day of the FIFA World Cup Final – broadcasted there as well.
    This is called EthniCity Soccer.
    The first press release was just sent out yesterday and the momentum HAS to grow around this event to show the United States and the World that Chicago loves the international events such as the FIFA World Cup!
    We’re gonna fill Soldier Field up and we’re gonna have the biggest World Cup Final viewing party ever!!
    You can join ethnicity soccer USA 2010 on Facebook!
    Take care

  57. ScoJo

    The biggest surprise to me is that Soldier Field only seats 62,000! The city’s incredible, but the stadium isn’t a very compelling argument.

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